Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Saturday April 21 2012
The Latics return to London for the second time in five days as they face Fulham looking to continue the great run that has seen Martinez's men climb out of the bottom three and put a five point cushion between themselves and 18th spot
A point today would be a great result, lately we haven't done very well at Craven Cottage, but the current run doesn't seem to be taking history into account with the Latics breaking new ground in their wins at Anfield, the Emirates and against Manchester United
Fulham are in a spot of good form themselves, they are playing their football without pressure and are quite comfortable in mid-table
Whatever the outcome today we've had a gigantic shot in the arm of late and, without a major collapse, we should be able to secure enough points for another survival, let's hope we can get something today to keep the run going
Latics boss Roberto Martinez:
'We haven't achieved anything yet, what we have found is a run of results that gives everyone belief and confidence in the way we're playing.
We still have two away games to play, one this weekend against Fulham who have such a talented group of players that use Craven Cottage to their advantage.
'The players know their pitch inside out and are very clever at moving in between lines with the talented players who are very dangerous in one-on-one situations.
'The full-backs give plenty of width to the play and then they have individuals in good moments of form; Clint Dempsey is in the goal-scoring form of his career and then from the set-piece situations Brede Hangeland is a real threat.'
Fulham boss Martin Jol
'The last four out of five results will have given them (Latics) a lot of confidence'
'If you are capable of beating Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool then that will give you confidence.
'I think they are doing well at the right time of the season. I feel that they could get out of trouble now but that they need maybe three or four points so they're still fighting for their lives.
'We have to try and be patient because Wigan are doing well defensively. They're playing compact like they did against Arsenal where there was no space on the flank and there was no space in the middle. They're a hard team to beat nowadays.'
Fulham have Andy Johnson and Pavel Pogrebnyak available again, but Bryan Ruiz, Stephen Kelly, Zdenek Grygera, Steve Sidwell and Neil Etheridge are all out
Fulham from - M Schwarzer, B Hangeland, A Hughes, J Riise, S Kelly, K Frei, A Kacaniklic, D Duff, D Murphy, D Etuhu, C Dempsey, M Diarra, O Sa, M Dembele, A Johnson, P Pogrebnyak, D Stockdale, M Briggs, P Kasami, P Senderos.
An eye for goal and a great success, five goals in six games, since arriving from Stuttgart in January
Albert Crusat and Hugo Rodallega are definitely out whilst Shaun Maloney is touch and go
Latics from - A Al-Habsi , G Caldwell , E Boyce, M Figueroa, A Alcaraz, J Beausejour, V Moses, J Gomez, M Diame, S Maloney, J McArthur , J McCarthy, F Di Santo, C Sammon, C McManaman, B Watson, D Jones, M Pollitt, R Stam.
A top class performance from Di Santo on Monday and a goal to boot set the Latics up for victory at the Emirates, more of the same today please
Franco in top form
By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
Latics and Fulham have met 39 times
Latics have 10 wins, Fulham 16, draws 13.
Last Six Meetings
29/10/11 - Premier League Latics 0 Fulham 2
15/01/2011 - Premier League - Latics 1 Fulham 1
30/10/2010 - Premier League - Fulham 2 Latics 0
04/04/2010 - Premier League - Fulham 2 Latics 1
08/11/2009 - Premier League - Latics 1 Fulham 1
07/02/2009 - Premier League - Latics 0 Fulham 0
Lee Probert (Gloucestershire)
Why not take a look at our 'Meet The Ref' article
Lee Probert Card Watch 2011/12
Games - 33, yellows - 103, reds - 8
Head says 1-1
Heart says, keep the run going 2-1 Latics win, let's go with the heart
Date:Saturday April 21 2012
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